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Pre-eclampsia

Volume 458: debated on Monday 12 March 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Health how many (a) women, broken down by age group, and (b) babies in England died from pre-eclampsia in each of the last five years for which figures are available; what recent research she has (i) commissioned and (ii) evaluated on this condition; what recent discussions she has had with members of the medical profession on pre-eclampsia; and if she will make a statement. (119951)

Data on the number of stillbirths and maternal deaths where pre-eclampsia and eclampsia was identified as the cause of death are shown in the following tables. The number of maternal deaths are also broken down by age group.

Babies do not die from pre-eclampsia, but from the effects of it. They mainly die from prematurity associated with early delivery. More rarely, death occurs following eclampsia in the mother where, for example, the oxygen to the baby is interrupted or from antepartum haemorrhage associated with severe pre-eclampsia. Mothers who have experienced chronic pre-eclampsia may have babies who are small for gestational age and they are also at risk.

The Department funds research to support policy and to provide the evidence needed to underpin quality improvement and service development in the national health service, and through its health technology assessment programme is undertaking a systematic review of the methods of prediction and prevention of pre-eclampsia. The results of the review will be published early next year.

Stillbirths where pre-eclampsia was identified as the maternal condition

Number

2001

119

2002

123

2003

146

2004

134

2005

107

Source:

Confidential Enquiry into Maternal and Child Health.

Maternal deaths certified as due to pre-eclampsia, eclampsia and other related conditions, England and Wales, 2001 to 2005

Number

2001

3

2002

9

2003

6

2004

4

2005

7

Total

29

Source:

Office for National Statistics.

Deaths by age group, 2001 to 2005

Age group

Number

<20

1

20-24

3

25-29

6

30-34

12

35-39

4

40 and over

3

Total

29

Source:

Office for National Statistics.